Eating and drinking are a crucial part of any traveller experience. Put simply, one hundred percent of visitors to any destination, local or international, must eat and drink! Food and drink represents the largest component of visitor expenditure in Ireland and exceeds the average spent on ‘bed and board’.
Travellers are always seeking the next great food and beverage businesses, destinations or experience and guests to Ireland can return home with memories of a plain old burger and coffee, or they can return with memories of fantastic local Irish food and drink experiences. People just need help identifying and even recognising those experiences. In addition to travelling across country or the world to eat or drink, we can also be food travellers in our own town, city or region.
Over the last ten years we, here in Ireland, have rediscovered a pride in our Irish food product and are now being recognised all over the world for our excellent Irish Food. We are slowly but surely eliminating the Google perception that Irish food is only bacon and cabbage, potatoes and Guinness! Far from it!
As drinking beverages is generally an implied and associated activity of eating and therefore the term is used to cover all aspects of food and drink tourism. (Internationally, the term “Food Tourism” is now used as opposed to “culinary tourism” which tended to be interpreted as an eating only experience.)
Since the launch of the Failte Ireland National Food Tourism Implementation Framework in 2011, much time, money and energy has been put into developing assistance for food/beverage producers, unique hospitality providers and food service providers to help them tell their food story. Failte Ireland now have a complete and concise section of their website dedicated to helping develop Food Tourism in Ireland.
I believe that Food Tourism is a vital part of the future of Irish Tourism so much that I started a business called Irish Food Tours Ltd. that helps food producers and food service providers get connected with those looking to explore our Irish Food Tourism. Anyone running a business that offers guests an opportunity to eat and/or drink quality products or to see an excellent food product being grown or made on-site has the potential to be a world class Food Tourism business here in Ireland.
The World Food Travel Association judges are looking for the world’s best travel destinations with exceptional food and drink tourism opportunities. Why is your destination the best? Do you offer an outstanding food and drink culture for visitors and locals to enjoy? Do you hold any gastronomic events or do you have simply the best farmers markets? All organisations with a mandate of promoting a destination’s food and drink are also invited to apply.
Categories in the 2016 World Food Trekking Awards include:
- Best food or beverage destination
- Best wine experience
- Best beer experience
- Best food or beverage tour operations
- Best food-service experience for travellers
Reviewing the applications for the competition is an international panel of judges:
Steven Shomler, Journalist, Author, Radio Host (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Gabriela Ibarra, destination marketer formerly with Visit Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Livio Colapinto, Owner, Zest Food Tours (Italy)
Benjamin Brown, Journalist and cruise industry expert (Las Vegas/Los Angeles, USA)
Stephan Berrouet Durand, Chef, founder of Haitian Culinary Alliance, author (Haiti/New York City)
There will be one grand prize, a second, and third prize for each category (only 15 international winners).
In addition to a physical prize, winners will also gain tremendous global recognition for an entire year and the visibility potential for your business and the destination area is huge, so Enter your Business today and lets get Ireland really noticed on the World Food Tourism Map!
The Closing Date for entry is 1st March 2016 and Winners to be announced on April 1.
To Enter your Food Tourism Business go to: http://worldfoodtravel.org/foodtrekking-awards
Best of Success to all involved!